Join us to reflect on the richness and challenge of the selected teaching from the legacy of Thomas Berry, Spiritual Master of the Ecozoic Age.
For our June 13th gathering, we share our reflections on this rich essay by Thomas Berry: "THE WILD AND THE SACRED."
(see ZOOM link and whole text below)
These monthly invitations are sent with a selection from Thomas Berry's writings to inspire our shared silence and dialogue, and to foster The Great Work of cultivating a community of contemplative ecologists as a feature of our ecozoic vocation. Please invite your friends and spread the word. Our Contemplative Ecologists Circle has gone global!
Date for Contemplative Ecologists Circle: Thursday, June 13th
Topic: kevin cawley's Zoom Meeting
Time: June 13,2019 7:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Here is our Lectio Terra for this Circle.
THE WILD AND THE SACRED
To understand the human role in the functioning of Earth, we need to appreciate the spontaneities found in every form of existence in the natural world, spontaneities that we associate with the wild—that which is uncontrolled by human dominance. We misconceive our role if we consider that our historical mission is to “civilize” or to “domesticate” the planet, as though wildness is something destructive rather than the ultimate creative modality of any form of earthly being. We are not here to control. We are here to become integral with the larger Earth community. The community itself and each of its members has ultimately a wild component, a creative spontaneity that is its deepest reality, its most profound mystery.
We might reflect on this sense of the wild and the civilized when the dawn appears through the morning mist. At such times a stillness pervades the world—a brooding sense, a quiet transition from night into day. This experience is deepened when evening responds to morning, as day fades away, and night comes in the depth of its mystery. We are most aware at such moments of transition that the world around us is beyond human control. So too are the transition phases of human life; at birth, maturity, and death we brood over our presence in a world of mystery far greater than ourselves.
I bring all this to mind because we are discovering our human role in a different order of magnitude. We are experiencing a disintegration of the life systems of the planet just when Earth in the diversity and resplendence of its self-expression had attained a unique grandeur. This moment deserves special attention on the part of humans who are themselves bringing about this disintegration in a manner that has never happened previously in the entire 4.6 billion years of Earth history.
We never thought of ourselves as capable of doing harm to the very structure of the planet Earth or of extinguishing the living forms that give to the planet its unique grandeur. In our efforts to reduce the planet to human control, we are, in reality, terminating the Cenozoic era, the lyric period of life development on Earth.
If such moments as dawn and dusk, birth and death, and the seasons of the year are such significant moments, how awesome, then, must be the present moment when we witness the dying of the Earth in its Cenozoic expression and the life renewal of Earth in an emerging Ecozoic era. Such reflection has a special urgency if we are ever to renew our sense of the sacred in any sphere of human activity. For we will recover our sense of wonder and our sense of the sacred only if we appreciate the universe beyond ourselves as a revelatory experience of that numinous presence whence all things come into being.
Indeed, the universe is the primary sacred reality. We become sacred by our participation in this more sublime dimension of the world about us.
—“The Wild and the Sacred,” in The Great Work, 48–49
- WHAT IS YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE OF WILDNESS? CAN YOU SHARE IT? CAN YOU SAY WHAT IT ACTIVATED OR AWAKENED IN YOU?
- WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THE SPONTANEITY OF WILDNESS NOW, IN YOUR PRESENT LIFE? HOW AVAILABLE IS YOUR ACCESS TO THE ENERGIES OF WILDNESS? HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?
- IF YOU ARE WORKING TO REAWAKEN YOUR EXPERIENCE OF YOUR WILD SPONTANEOUS CREATIVITY, HOW ARE YOU DOING THAT? HOW IS SUCH AN EXPERIMENT ENRICHING YOUR LIFE?
- WHAT IS KEEPING YOU/US FROM LIVING IN THE GRACE OF NATURAL WILDNESS?
- HOW CAN WE HELP EACH OTHER AS CONTEMPLATIVE ECOLOGISTS RECOVER FROM BEING OVERCIVILIZED IN A CIVILIZATION SO HARMFUL TO US?
- HOW ARE YOU WORKING WITH YOUR/OUR DESTINY TO BE THE HUMAN GENERATION KNOWINGLY WITNESSING THE END OF THE ERA OF GREAT PLANETARY FLOURISHING?
- IN WHAT CREATIVE WAYS ARE YOU TENDING YOUR GRIEF? YOUR BEWILDERMENT?
- HOW CAN WE SUPPORT EACH OTHER?
THANK YOU FOR YOUR WILLINGNESS TO OFFER YOUR GROWING CONTEMPLATIVE WISDOM WITH OTHER EMERGING CONTEMPLATIVE ECOLOGISTS.